Citadel High School

Citadel High School is a high school in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Citadel High School
Citadel High School NS.png
Citadel High School front.jpg
1855 Trollope Street

, ,
Coordinates44°38′49″N 63°35′02″W / 44.647°N 63.584°W / 44.647; -63.584Coordinates: 44°38′49″N 63°35′02″W / 44.647°N 63.584°W / 44.647; -63.584
TypeHigh school
MottoCourage, Honour, Strength
Established2007; 13 years ago (2007)
School boardHalifax Regional School Board
SuperintendentElwin LeRoux
School number283 (HRSB), 1109 (NS)
PrincipalJoe Morrison
Grades10 through 12
Enrolment1,413 (2018[1])
Medium of languageEnglish, French immersion
AreaPeninsular Halifax
Colour(s)Maroon and Gold         
MascotThe Phoenix
Team namePhoenix

The school opened in September 2007 on the site of the former Bell Road Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College. Its location bordering Bell Road, Trollope Street, and Ahern Avenue is adjacent to the Halifax Common and immediately west of Citadel Hill, a National Historic Site from which the school derives its name.

Citadel High School was formed from a merger of two older schools: Queen Elizabeth High School and Saint Patrick's High School, opened in 1942 and 1954 respectively.


Citadel High construction site, 9 August 2006

The new school was initially announced by the Province of Nova Scotia on 12 June 2003.[2] Designed to replace Queen Elizabeth High School and St. Patrick's High School, the school would be located on the site of the Halifax campus of the NSCC, which would subsequently be relocated to a new facility on the Dartmouth waterfront. On 31 March 2005, the HRSB announced the new name of the school, "Citadel", which was selected in a vote among other suggestions including "Halifax Central", "Willow Tree" (for the nearby traffic interchange of the same name), "Patrician Elizabethan", "Ahern Bell", "Gardens North", "Peninsula", "Garrison", as well as numerous famous Haligonians including Vince Coleman, Anna Leonowens, Robert Stanfield, Portia White, Samuel Cunard, Robert McCall, Joseph Howe, Edward Cornwallis, Richard Bulkeley, and Alexander Graham Bell.[3]

Citadel High construction site, 2 December 2006

Construction began in the Spring of 2006, following the destruction of the old community college. The school began operation in September 2007, and was officially opened by Premier Rodney MacDonald and Minister of Education Karen Casey in November of that year.[4] The building was designed by the architectural firm of Fowler, Bauld & Mitchell, who won a design competition, and built by Pomerleau Construction.[5][6][7]

The school contains two gymnasiums, one of which is located in the community centre section of the school, operated by the municipal recreation department. The community centre was incorporated into the project because the original school proposal did not include a second gymnasium (nor an auditorium), much to the concern of community members.[8] The HRSB and the HRM recreation department entered into a partnership so that the two entities could share facilities: the school got its second gymnasium and the community centre has access to school classrooms on evenings and weekends. Aside from the gym, the community centre also contains dedicated activity rooms.

During the 2011 Canada Games, Citadel High served a competition venue for wheelchair basketball and table tennis. The newly opened Spatz Theatre was also used for the National Artist Program Gala.


The new school offers courses for the International Baccalaureate program adding to the schools in the Halifax area that offer the IB program. Other schools in the Halifax area with the IB program are Halifax West High School, Halifax Grammar School, and Prince Andrew High School. QEH and St. Pat's offered Pre-IB courses in 2006–2007 to Grade 10 students preparing for the IB program at Citadel High.[9]

Continuing in the tradition of the former St. Pat's, Citadel offers French immersion courses in many subjects, and through meeting certain credit requirements students may obtain the provincial French Immersion Certificate at graduation.[10]

Uniquely, the school also promotes Nova Scotian Gaelic language studies through several courses as well as a student society called An Dùn ("the fort", in reference to the school's name). Events and concerts are held regularly. This program was introduced with help from the Department of Education amidst a renewed interest in Gaelic culture in Nova Scotia.[11]

Student lifeEdit


The school maintains opportunities for students to participate in basketball, soccer, football, cross country, volleyball, hockey, skiing, snowboarding, field hockey, badminton, rugby, baseball, softball, and track and field. The two large gymnasiums at the school are complemented by outdoor basketball courts and the numerous other sports facilities at the Halifax Common across the street.

The girl's basketball team made national headlines in March 2014 after winning their 100th consecutive game. The milestone was met in a game against Horton High School, whom they beat 59 to 50.[12]

Musical productionsEdit

Student governmentEdit

The student body of Citadel is managed by the Citadel High Students' Council, led by Owen Conolly and Ivan Grande.


The school contains over 60 teaching spaces: classrooms, laboratories for biology, physics, and chemistry, computer labs, a woodworking lab, family studies kitchen and sewing facilities, two art rooms, and a drama room adjoining the newly opened auditorium, the Spatz Theatre.[13] The school is fully accessible, incorporating an elevator that was formerly installed at St. Pat's.[14] Fire safety features include ceiling-mounted strobe lights and multiple stairwell areas of refuge on each floor that isolate themselves as fireproof doors close automatically during a fire and may only be opened from one direction.

The new school includes the 980-square-metre (10,500 sq ft) Wilson's Gymnasium, named after the Wilson Fuel Co. which made a large donation towards the completion of the school theatre.[15] The second gymnasium, the Bob Douglas Community Gymnasium, is named after a former teacher and coach at the two predecessor high schools as well as a 1994 inductee to the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame. The motion to name the gym in his honour was spearheaded by two former students.[16] Douglas died in 2008.[17]

The 450-square-metre (4,800 sq ft) cafeteria is called the Portia White Atrium, named after a Nova Scotian singer who achieved international fame and performed for Queen Elizabeth II, was featured on a postage stamp, and is the namesake of the Portia White Prize, awarded to established artists within the province. It is an airy, glass-clad structure that also serves as the entrance to the auditorium. It is topped by a green roof, visible from Citadel Hill.

The 280-square-metre (3,000 sq ft) school library is named after the Kinsmen, who also made a large donation towards the completion of the school auditorium.[15] In 2007, it contained about 10,000 books as well as 15 computers available to students.[18]

A shell was built at the time of construction for the roughed-in auditorium, which was completed in early 2011. The theatre was named the Spatz Theatre after the Spatz family, who donated money toward its completion.[19] It was first used for the National Artist Program Gala as a part of the 2011 Canada Games.

Built-in furniture, cabinetry, wall paneling, and much of the other custom interior finishing was designed by Chandlers Millwork of Charlottetown[20] and, in line with the school's LEED certification, does not contain urea formaldehyde, commonly used in wood products.[21] Tables and chairs were furnished by Ven-Rez Products of Shelburne.

Other featuresEdit

Citadel High School as seen from Bell Road.

Architectural vestigesEdit

Citadel High School incorporates some architectural elements of the two high schools and the former community college. Six bas-relief sandstone carvings, which used to be located at the entrances of QEH, were installed in the new cafeteria. The carvings depict school-related activities such as science, sports, drama, and history. The new school also features four new sandstone carvings which were done by students of Citadel.[4]

Sandstone banding integrated into the brickwork of the new school was salvaged from the facade of St. Pat's, which was removed earlier as the anchoring for the cladding had deteriorated and became a safety hazard. Bleacher seating from the gymnasium at St. Pat's was refinished to accommodate an additional 300 spectators in the new gymnasium.

Approximately 3500 glass blocks salvaged from the former community college has become part of the wall in the gymnasium and the original wooden main entry, which includes beveled glass, has become the entrance of the new school's library.[4]

Environmental sustainabilityEdit

The school is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.[22] This "green building" rating system emphasizes sensible land-use, energy efficiency, and comfort. Examples of LEED elements in the project include the field sod roof of the cafeteria (a green roof), collected rainwater used for flushing toilets, waterless urinals, extensive use of construction materials with recycled content, use of Low-E glazing and a reflective white ThermoPlastic Olefin roof membrane.[7] Low-emitting materials were used in interior fittings and furniture to improve indoor air quality.


A 20-foot (6.1 m) tall stainless steel tree, a sculpture by Dartmouth artist Dawn MacNutt, was installed in the main foyer in early 2008. Entitled Together We Stand, it is suspended in the three-storey atrium at the axis of the building and is made of steel wiring with leaves of aluminized polyester woven in Switzerland. Works of similar construction by the same artist can be found at Alderney Landing. The piece was originally located in the lobby of the Infirmary building at the nearby Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre until renovations there necessitated its donation to the school.[23][24]

The walls along the school corridors are lined with a single band of porcelain square tiles, each featuring a small drawing done in raised paint, by students of St. Pat's and QEH during the 2006–2007 school year.

Notable peopleEdit

In popular cultureEdit

Citadel High School appears in the CBC Television sitcom Mr. D as "Xavier Academy".

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Citadel High". School Finder. Halifax Regional Centre for Education. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  2. ^ "HRSB New Schools". Halifax Regional School Board. < Archived 7 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine>.
  3. ^ Conrad, Rick (5 January 2005). "Stanfield gets most votes". Halifax Chronicle-Herald. p. B2.
  4. ^ a b c "Premier Officially Opens Citadel High School" (Press release). Province of Nova Scotia, Department of Education. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
  5. ^ "Citadel High School". Fowler Bauld & Mitchell. Archived from the original (project description) on 15 December 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
  6. ^ "The Citadel High School". Pomerleau Construction. Archived from the original (project description) on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Citadel High Progress Monitored by Webcam". News releases. Province of Nova Scotia. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  8. ^ "About Citadel High Theatre". Citadel High Legacy Campaign. Retrieved 18 February 2010 < Archived 18 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine>.
  9. ^ "We are pleased to announce that Citadel High School is an IBO World School". Citadel High School. Retrieved 11 February 2009 <>.
  10. ^ "French Immersion Certificate". French Second Language Program Services – Province of Nova Scotia. Retrieved 11 February 2010 <[permanent dead link]>.
  11. ^ "Citadel High Gaelic Society". Citadel High School. Retrieved 11 February 2010 <>.
  12. ^ "Citadel high girls basketball team scores 100th win". CBC News. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  13. ^ Citadel High School Facts". Citadel High Legacy Campaign. Retrieved 18 February 2010. < Archived 20 June 2009 at>.
  14. ^ "2007/09 Operating Capital Project Update". HRSB Operations Services. 18 February 2010 <>.
  15. ^ a b "Major Gift Donors". Citadel High Legacy Campaign. Retrieved 18 February 2010 < Archived 11 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine>.
  16. ^ Peninsula Community Council. Naming – Citadel Community Centre – gymnasium submitted by Paul Dunphy. Halifax Regional Municipality, 28 August 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  17. ^ "Former Axeman Robert Douglas Passes Away". Atlantic University Sport. Retrieved 18 February 2010. < Archived 27 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine>.
  18. ^ "Citadel Phoenix Newsletter – November 2007". Citadel High School. 18 February 2010 <>.
  19. ^ " Spatz family offers major gift for new community theatre". The Daily Business Buzz. Retrieved 5 January 2011 < Archived 28 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine>.
  20. ^ "Portfolio". Chandlers Cabinets & Millwork. 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
  21. ^ "LEED Fast Facts". Citadel High School. Retrieved 18 February 2010 <>.
  22. ^ "Citadel High School - Project 10128" (PDF). Canada Green Building Council. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  23. ^ "Citadel Phoenix newsletter" (PDF) (Press release). Citadel High School. May–June 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
  24. ^ MacNutt, Dawn (2008). "Dawn MacNutt, artist, sculptor".
  25. ^ Quon, Alexander (5 November 2016). "Lindell Smith: The inside story of how he took Halifax Peninsula North in a landslide". The Signal.
  26. ^ "Wade Smith, admired Halifax educator and coach, dies". CBC News. 2 June 2017.

External linksEdit